Financial innovation generates benefits for the regulator, the consumers and the financial sector, but it also entails risks. Financial authorities have different tools at their disposal to provide a balanced response to the challenges posed by the new technologies.
Innovation facilitators (accelerators, innovation hubs and sandboxes) aim to convey supervisory and regulatory expectations to the private sector and to improve the authorities' understanding of the risks and opportunities of financial innovation.
In this context, Banco de España aims to promote financial innovation by making available or participating in the following innovation facilitators tools:
The sandbox provides a safe environment in which to test projects involving a technology-based financial innovation applicable to the financial system and where risks to the financial system and participants have been mitigated or minimised. It is regulated by Law 7/2020, of 13 November, for the digital transformation of the financial system.
This is a direct communication channel provided for in Law 7/2020 through which queries on financial innovation can be addressed to Banco de España.
These consultations should refer to new applications, processes, products, business models and other issues related to technological innovation applied to the provision of financial services.
Queries on technology-based financial innovation do not imply the initiation of an administrative procedure, nor do they have the status of legal advice with binding effect. The information provided will be processed confidentially.
Through this channel provided for in Law 7/2020, interested parties can submit written queries to Banco de España regarding the regime, classification or application of sectoral financial regulation related to a case of application of technology to the provision of financial services.
Upon completing the electronic form (using the section "Procedures – Electronic Register", located on the right-hand side of the website), please indicate in the field "details of the request” that the query concerns the provisions of Article 21 of Law 7/2020.
Banco de España cooperates internationally with other public authorities to ensure that instruments for the promotion of financial innovation incorporate a global dimension.
Banco de España, together with the National Securities Market Commission, the Directorate-General for Insurance and Pension Funds and other authorities of the European Economic Area, participates in the European cross-border testing mechanism. The framework for these tests, developed by the European Forum for Innovation Facilitators (EFIF), came into force on 30 March 2022. All information on cross-border testing is available on the EU's Digital Finance Platform.
The Bank of Spain participates in the European Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox for innovative use cases involving Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), an initiative of the European Commission. The aim of the project is to provide a pan-European framework for regulators, supervisory authorities, and innovators to engage in regulatory dialogue for private and public sector use cases.
Launched on February 14, 2023, the initiative will operate in annual cohorts, allowing a maximum of 20 projects in each call for proposals. You can find information about the projects accepted in the first cohort at the following link:
The Bank of Spain collaborates with other European authorities in the dialogue concerning some use cases within the first cohort of the European Blockchain Sandbox.
For additional details, it is recommended to visit http://www.blockchain-sandbox.eu/.